Benoit announces retirement, UAB to begin national search

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benoit streamPam Benoit, Ph.D.UAB Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Pam Benoit, Ph.D., has announced she will retire at the end of 2023, concluding a distinguished career in higher education administration that includes almost seven years as a transformational leader at UAB. 

Benoit has played critical roles in several key initiatives since joining UAB in July 2017.

She co-chaired the Strategic Planning Council that worked with the campus community to draft Forging the Future — UAB’s 2018-2023 strategic plan. She is again co-chairing a strategic planning council, updating the institution’s strategic plan for 2024-2028 that will be finalized before her retirement. She also made key hires — including deans in 11 schools and colleges — and spearheaded the modernization of UAB’s Blazer Core Curriculum

“I am proud to have built a strong academic leadership team and of what we’ve done together, including that we remained so mission-focused while weathering the pandemic,” Benoit said. “I am particularly proud of the culture of shared governance and trust we’ve grown year after year. UAB is full of amazing, brilliant and dedicated people, and I appreciate the opportunity I had to work with students, faculty and staff to take on challenges and make the most of opportunities together.”

President Ray Watts says UAB is stronger today because of Benoit. 

“Pam’s contributions — even in very trying times — have been vital to our unprecedented growth and success,” Watts said. “I thank her on behalf of a grateful campus community for her unwavering empathetic and service-minded leadership, tireless work, and tremendous results that will continue to bear fruit long after her retirement.”

The national search for UAB’s next provost and SVP will be led by a broad search committee chaired by School of Optometry Dean Kelly Nichols and Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration Brian Burnett. 

Benoit — who has a growing list of 60 things she wants to do in retirement, including more painting and traveling — feels that she leaves UAB in great shape and capable hands. 

“UAB will continue to innovate and grow and thrive,” Benoit said. “This is the best place I’ve ever worked, and I am grateful to President Watts for the opportunity to make a difference at this special place. I also want to thank the students, faculty, staff and community partners who have served with me and allowed me to serve them. It has been an honor and tremendously rewarding.” 

Benoit came to UAB in July 2017 from Ohio University, where she had served as executive vice president and provost since 2009. She held many leadership positions at the University of Missouri, where she chaired the Department of Communications in the College of Arts and Sciences and served as vice provost for Advanced Studies and dean of the Graduate School before being named executive vice president and provost at Ohio University. Early in her career, she served on the faculty of Miami University, Bowling Green State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she also held a position in the Department of Communications.